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Reviewed September 16, 2011

Stayed at a Spa Pool Villa in late August and what an experience it was! Was debating between other resorts such as Four Seasons and the W but Banyan Tree came out to be the perfect choice. A very big thank you to the staff particularly to Jen who was an excellent host and to the transportation staff who drove us and guided traffic throughout the resort. Have stayed in some magnificent 5 star resorts throughout Asia and we expected the best and we left impressed. Now to some details (likes/areas for improvement)

Likes:
1. The views. Views from truly breathtaking especially from our villa which had jaw dropping views from all areas of our villa. The almost panaromic views from our spa bedroom was amazing and was our favorite place to lounge during the day! (see the attached photos). The views from the Edge for breakfast was also great and we dined outside throughout our stay.

2. Friendliness. As mentioned above, the staff were all friendly and I would like to point out that despite some complaints in the Trip Advisor reviews, the buggys all arrived within 5-10 minutes most of the time for us despite our villa being located way up in the hills.

3. Saffron. Great Thai food that we enjoyed that we went for dinner throughout our stay.

4. Breakfast at the Edge. Breakfast was great with a great selection of juices and tea/coffee. Was also genuinely impressed with the quality of the sushi they served although we wished there were more frequent refills of the sushi. The pastries and egg dishes were also top notch.

5. Spa. Wife really enjoyed her spa considering the price. One tip is to ask for specials on the spa and reserve early!

Areas of Improvement:

1. Safety issues: We brought a water sun bed to use at our private pool. We quickly realized that if we were not careful, we can fall off the pool (and fall several meters) if we lied under the water sun bed as the pool water kept on spilling over the pool. Would suggest warning guests staying in villas uphill of this potential danger.

2. Hill road: I am sure the resort has looked into this issue, but how about widening the corners on the road as it seems the drivers struggle in certain corners to make turns.

3. Tshirts at gift shop: Although I did buy a tshirt from the gift shop, why is the Banyan Tree logo stitched with the same color of the rest of the shirt? For example my white tshirt has a white Banyan Tree logo on it and it is hard to discern the Banyan Tree logo. Same with other colors. Almost did not purchase it, but purchased it anyway to treasure my stay.

Overall, it was an unforgettable stay and would definitely be back in the near future. Many thanks for making our 2011 summer vacation truly memorable!

Room tip: Spend a bit extra and get a Hillcrest Villa or a Spa Pool Villa.
Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank wookieyoo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Service was great and the views are just so spectacular. Yes, the narrow roads are quite steep if you choose villas at the top but there are staff standing at every corner with wakie-talkies ensuring that the buggy drivers know if there is oncoming traffic. I felt very safe. I didn't check out the beach as I was busy enjoying my beautiful villa. Bird, my villa host looked after me well.

Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Sl T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Very good experience and a relaxing holiday. Service is great and staffs are very friendly and always going the extra mile.

Rocks on the beach but after visiting some hotels in Samui most of them have rocks but Chaweng beach is clear of rocks.

Landscape is really beautiful for such a new hotel. It's sad to leave the resort and back to a city life. Already recommended some friends in November. Hopefully the weather is good by then.

Date of stay: August 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Kennie_Dev
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2011

Dear Deva K,

Greetings from Banyan Tree Samui, your Sanctuary for the Senses.

Thank you for your recent stay with us and it is wonderful that you were delighted with the service of our team and the layout of the resort. The presence of rocks near the shore is a common feature in many of the small bays around Samui, however, we do recognize that this area can be enhanced and continue to work towards improving it. I will be certain to pass along your comments to our Landscaping team as their hard work in making our resort beautiful often does not receive the attention it deserves.

Deva K, thank you once again for your stay and for sharing your experience with your friends. We hope to welcome you back for another escape to paradise in the future.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2011

The villas are beautiful but offer surprisingly little storage space. Due to the U-shaped lay-out of the resort we didn't feel completely private in the villa and people could also look into our terrace/pool when passing by outside.

The sea is indeed very rocky; shoes are offered but not really an enjoyable experience.

Breakfast is excellent but the dinner options could be better. The decoration of Edge and Saffron needs improvement. Edge is as charming as a hotel restaurant in a cheap city hotel (the view is great though). Saffron is better but there we were tortured by a poor band playing Lady Gaga, why??? Sands on the beach was the best experience.

Unlike the previous reviewer we were happy with the gym and spa.

Date of stay: May 2011
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jmalux
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2011

Dear jmalux,

Thank you for your recent visit to Banyan Tree Samui and for taking the time to offer your feedback. I am pleased to hear that you found our villas to be beautiful, but regret to learn that you did not feel completely private during your stay. In certain areas, the layout of our resort may not provide total privacy, however, we continue to improve on this through the planting of trees and vegetation in key areas.

I do agree that our sea is rocky and, as detailed here before, we are in the process of making this aspect of our resort more enjoyable in order to maximize the areas of relaxation for our guests.

In regards to our dining outlets, I am glad you to know that you enjoyed our breakfast buffet as well as Sands, our quintessential beach grill restaurant. I have passed along your comments regarding the décor and feeling of The Edge to our team, and have already investigated the song selections of the entertainment on offer, so that it complements the atmosphere and does not detract from it.

jmalux, thank you once again for your stay with us and I do hope you shall not let these few incidents mar your overall perception of our resort. We would be honoured if you were to allow us the opportunity to serve you once again and to show you the improvements we have made.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2011

I’d selected this resort to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We arrived the resort at 8pm and were escorted to the lobby lounge with welcome drink. Staffs were friendly and it’s usual practice for Banyan Tree. Both of us felt comfortable. However, the nightmare started here!!

We were transported to villa B-05 which they mentioned as the ocean view villa. Soon after the staffs left the villa, my wife seen “something” walked across the living room. It’s Banyan tree and we believed there is nothing to worry about. We decided to go to the bedroom and wondering where the ocean view is. It doesn’t matter as we had clearly see what my wife saw in the living room. It’s a MICE and it's alive!!

We couldn’t believe what we had seen but we looked again and confirm it is a mice next to our bed.

We have complained to the duty manager and he moved us to another villa which is far better. But during the conversation with him, mice problem happened before and he is very casual on this. I just can’t believe that the management already identified this serious issue but didn't actually resolve it.

The night before we checked out, I took 15 minutes on their survey and asking them to review this issue again. I got a response yesterday. They didn’t actually apologize but asking me to provide comments on tripadvisor instead.

I’d stayed at 3 different Banyan Tree resorts in the past. Banyan Tree Samui provided the same atmosphere as what other Banyan Tree resort provided. However, they don’t resolve their problems that they already identified.

If you don’t mind spending a fortune and take risk, Banyan Tree Samui is your destination

Service – Staffs are very friendly and helpful. Management terrible
Value – Expensive but it’s expected
Sleep Quality – Good except the first night that we can’t sleep
Cleanliness – Looks okay but didn’t expect there is a mice in the living room
Spa – No flexibility, you have to decide which treatment when you arrange reservation (24 hours ahead, minimum)

Date of stay: September 2011
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredrick_Arul, General Manager at Banyan Tree Samui, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2011

Dear Alan C,

Thank you for your recent stay with us and for taking the time to offer your comments. It is with my sincere regret to learn of the incident that took place in your villa. Upon your check-in, we were confident that the villa selected for you and your wife would provide you with a pleasant and relaxing place to stay. Unfortunately, we were unaware at the time that this villa was clearly not suitable for you or any of our guests.

I wish to reassure you that we do not take issues such as this with a casual attitude and this incident, for which you are rightfully shocked by, has been addressed with our team. As our resort is located among the jungle areas of Samui, we continually apply pesticide within all villas as a means to control any rodent activity. I wish to reassure you that the periodic reapplication of this pest control remains a part of our schedule to prevent future incidents such as the one you experienced.

Alan C, thank you once again for your decision to choose our brand once again for your holiday and I hope you shall not allow this one, isolated incident mar your perception of our Banyan Tree Samui. We would be honoured if you continued to select our sister properties around the world and allow us the opportunity to hopefully reinstate your trust in Banyan Tree.

With kind regards,

Fredrick Arul
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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